Are you legal to respond to a directive from ATC with only the word “Roger?” Further, is answering with “Roger” a good idea. The answer follows.
- According to the Air Traffic Controllers Manual, JO 7110.65T, you are perfectly legal to acknowledge an ATC clearance with “Roger” or “Wilco” or “Affirmative” or other words or remarks.
- The Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) says you should read back the numbers when assigned an altitude or vectors.
- The AIM is a collection of best practices, and not a regulation.
- Acknowledging with “Roger” is legal, but is it smart?
- Both the AIM and the Air Traffic Controllers Manual say, when you read back the numbers, it allows an air traffic controller to verify what you thought you heard was correct. It’s part of ATC’s hear back program.
- Reading back your clearance, as opposed to simply saying “Roger” adds a layer of safety. It’s not required, but it is the smart thing to do.
- I try to perform an amazing feat of mentally telepathy at about the 4-minute mark in this show, so keep listening.
How do you acknowledge ATC clearances?